Omega Boost Review

With more levels and design variety, Omega Boost could've outclassed every other 3D shooter on the market.

Thanks largely to 3D shooters such as Sega's Panzer Dragoon series, the shooter is officially back in style, after a long drought following the 16-bit era's market saturation. While initially more visceral than any similar game on the market, Omega Boost ultimately falls short in playability, style, and longevity.

As Japanese logic would dictate, you suit up in a large humanoid robot and fly through several missions to defeat an evil galactic empire bent on destroying humanity. As shooter logic dictates, you are humanity's only hope for survival. Omega Boost takes the formula established by Panzer Dragoon and, in the words of chef Emeril Legasse, kicks it up a notch. While your general movement is confined to the "rails" in each level, you have more freedom of movement than in any other game in this vein. The Omega Boost robot has two modes of movement: straight and scanning. Straight movement is like that of any other 3D shooter, always moving forward. Scanning movement lets you maneuver around an object in full 3D. Tapping the mode change button will turn you to face any imminent danger that may be approaching, an extremely useful tool for tackling enemies that will ultimately be attacking from above, below, and everywhere in between. Holding the mode change button will let you move along the outside of an invisible sphere, so you move around the huge bosses and deal damage from all sides with ease. In addition to the multiple modes of flight, you have a vulcan rifle with homing shots, lock-on homing lasers, a speed boost, and a few levels into the game, the viper boost, an uncontrollable series of ramming attacks. As in Panzer Dragoon Zwei, your mech is gradually upgraded depending on how well you do in each of the game's nine missions, earning you the viper boost and the ability to lock onto more enemies. In addition to the campaign mode, you can play in a number of customizable challenge levels, essentially ultradifficult versions of the original levels. Bam!

Unfortunately, Omega Boost is ultimately a vapid game - a quick adrenaline rush almost completely lacking depth. Each level consists of only a few waves of enemies and two or three quickly defeated bosses. Tackling the waves of enemies is never difficult; a quick tap of the mode change button locks onto them, while a tap of the attack button releases the homing lasers that will kill them. With a few exceptions, boss battles are equally predictable - lock on and fire, dash out of the way of enemy fire, turn to face the boss, repeat until dead. For any kind of challenge, you will have to wait until the final series of bosses. Omega Boost is a dismally short game; with the exception of the final level, each of the game's levels requires between two and five minutes to complete, resulting in a game that could very well offer nothing new after a few hours of ownership.

Omega Boost's aesthetics are hard to pin down - while technically brilliant, the game simply lacks the assets to really shine visually. Endowed with possibly the most amazing 3D engine to grace a shooter, the game fills the screen with beautiful effects and transparencies. In all but a few of the challenge levels, the engine still manages to keep a constant 60fps frame rate. Much of this gift is wasted, however, as the game is generally lacking in art assets. While the enemies and bosses are nicely constructed and textured, many levels use the void of space or a single texture as their only backdrop, resulting in a game that's lacking visually. Both human actors and CG are used in the expensive-looking FMV sequences that introduce the game and carry the "story" on, but the sequences are generally not too exciting or too short to really be appreciated. Omega Boost's sound is crisp and clear. Rock and techno tunes provide appropriate backdrop to the spastic action, although some of them have humorously corny lyrics for a space shooter.

With more levels and design variety, Omega Boost could've outclassed every other 3D shooter on the market. With so little of either, however, Omega Boost is only a decent game at best.

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    Omega Boost More Info

  • First Released Aug 31, 1999
    • PlayStation
    With more levels and design variety, Omega Boost could've outclassed every other 3D shooter on the market.
    Average Rating184 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    Polyphony Digital
    Published by:
    Team-Based, Action, Shooter, Third-Person, 3D
    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
    Animated Violence